He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
— Jon 13:6-7 NIV

Read the whole chapter here.

Throughout the entire book of John you’ve been following/engaged in/studying Jesus and his public ministry on this earth. Starting in chapter 1 when Jesus called his first disciples, Jesus has been doing ministry that changed the world as we know it. Now we have reached chapter 13 and see that Jesus’ ministry has come to a close. In verse 1 we see that, “Jesus knew His time had come for him to leave this world for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. (NIV)” Yet, in this chapter John records one of the most incredible acts of service the world has ever seen-- Jesus washing the disciples feet. Note the details. Pay close attention to Jesus. Soak up the story. This is not only a story of a man serving the people He loved but an example and a challenge to every person that now follow Him. 

So, the countdown is on and Jesus and His disciples know it. In the final hours of His ministry on earth, Jesus gets up from his seat at the final meal that the they will eat together, takes off his outer layer of clothing, ties a towel around His waist, and begins to wash His disciples’ feet. Take note of what Jesus does next. To the astonishment of His disciples, Jesus gives Himself to serving, for one last time, the people that He had been leading and serving alongside for the duration of their ministry together. Put yourself in their shoes… pun intended. At this point, they have been serving the people of that time and see this man, the King of the world, the Savior, The Messiah, The Son of God, heal people, cleanse people, free people, raise a man from the dead, pray, teach, and minister to the world. Then imagine the Messiah gets up from the table to wash your feet. The same feet that you had just walked around in the dirt/mud/filth with (listen, y'all know the disciples feet were nasty). How would that make you feel? Jesus then proceeds to wash every disciples feet, even the one that was going to betray him- Judas. The Savior doesn’t even skip over the one that will soon, within a few hours, hand him over to the Pharisees. Don’t miss that, because that displays the God’s heart in an incredible way.

an opportunity to serve

Jesus lays before His people an example of humility, servant-hearted leadership, and love. Washing the feet of people was an job that was done by the lowest of servants- the slaves of that day. Skip down to verse 14 and Jesus calls his followers to do the same. That means me and you. Let me clarify though, Jesus is not telling us to go out and wash the feet of everyone in your small group or your family while you are home for break. However, Jesus is telling us to serve. Serve with love, serve with passion, serve with humility. Serve because we have been served by Jesus on the cross. Take a moment to serve your family. Take an opportunity to look outside yourself and serve the people around you. The opportunity is before you and the example has been set, from here it is on us. May we do it?

pray

God,
Open my eyes Lord. Open my eyes to see opportunities to serve around me. Thank you for the way you have served and continue to serve me, Jesus. You are the perfect example. Lord, help me to humble myself to serve like you served your disciples. May you be reflected through my actions. Thank you Jesus! It’s in your name I pray. Amen. 

- Ladd Morgan